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Taxes Take a Bigger Piece of Illinoisans’ Income Than Our Neighbors

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Illinois has been leading the Midwest in something called “Outbound Migration” for quite a while now. Outbound migration is just a fancy way of saying “people leaving the state.” One of the prominent reasons for people hitting the road out of here (and there are many reasons) can be summed up in one word. Taxes.

According to a new piece written by Dr. Orphe Divounguy, chief economist at Illinois Policy, taxes take a larger chunk out of Illinoisans’ incomes than residents of all bordering states, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

And, it’s not just the Census Bureau with that opinion. The Current Population Survey show Illinoisans paid the largest share of their income in property taxes, state taxes and the federal income tax, even after including all tax credits.

Some of Dr. Divounguy’s numbers:

From March 2015 to March 2016, Illinoisans saw 31.1 percent of their income flow toward income and property taxes each year, compared with 28.7 percent for Wisconsinites, 25.1 percent for Michiganders, 24.6 percent for Iowans. 23.3 percent for Indianans, 23.1 percent for Missourians and 21.1 percent for Kentuckians.

Said another way, Illinoisans kept only 68.9 percent of their income after taxes, compared with 71.3 percent for Wisconsinites, 76.7 percent for Indianans, 76.9 percent for Missourians, 78.9 percent for Kentuckians, 74.9 percent for Michiganders and 75.4 percent for Iowans.


To make things even more enjoyable for you is that this data on Illinoisans’ tax burden does not take into account the largest permanent income tax hike in state history, which state lawmakers passed this summer. We can all look forward to having an even smaller share of our incomes available after taxes.

Back to that whole “leading the Midwest in Outbound Migration” thing for a moment. What do you suppose is the number one reason people give for wanting to leave the state of Illinois?

That’s right, taxes.

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